Belly Stuffed and Empty Mind

It’s good to have a healthy body.

But, a healthy body is not enough. A healthy mind is also needed to guide it properly.

The instrument of the body — no matter how healthy or strong it may be — can only serve its purpose best when guided by a Wise and Virtuous mind. Thus, a thoughtful mind is essential to handle the body properly, else it’ll be like a ship without a captain, or like a ‘loose cannon etc.

A man under the control of the outward motion of his empty or spiritually ignorant mind becomes like an animal if he thinks the demands of his senses are supreme.

A healthy body needs to be guided by a healthy mind. The Gurbani is all about mindfulness!

Four things are said to be common in animals and a sense-blind person with an unhealthy mind: eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. Having the belly filled and empty mind is nothing but the animal nature.

  • ਕਰਿ ਪਰਪੰਚ ਉਦਰ ਨਿਜ ਪੋਖਿਓ ਪਸੁ ਕੀ ਨਿਆਈ ਸੋਇਓ ॥੧॥: By deceiving people (through ‘Parpanch‘: falsehood or Pakhand you) fill your belly and sleep like animals. ||1|| (sggs 633).
  • ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕਛੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਪਸੁ ਜਿਉ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਉ ॥: Listening to the Gurmat (Shabad-Giaan, Teaching of the Gurbani, etc.), (if) no Spiritual Wisdom (understanding of the Spiritual Life…) wells up within; (then it would be) like a beast (routinely) filling its belly (sggs 685).

The effects of such conditioned consciousness are so overwhelming that we remain in body-consciousness till the death of the physical body. As a result, we never get to take off from the levels of falsehood and selfishness into the heights of Mool Abidance.

  • ਚਿਟੇ ਜਿਨ ਕੇ ਕਪੜੇ ਮੈਲੇ ਚਿਤ ਕਠੋਰ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਊਪਜੈ ਦੂਜੈ ਵਿਆਪੇ ਚੋਰ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਮੂਲੁ ਨ ਬੂਝਹਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਸੇ ਪਸੂਆ ਸੇ ਢੋਰ ਜੀਉ ॥੩॥: Their clothes are white (beautiful religious robes) but their conscience is cruel and filthy (full of vices — they look holy or Mahaatamaa on the outside only). Their minds don’t acquire  Naam (Giaan-Wisdom, Virtues…); engrossed in duality they cheat people (i.e. their external appearance is only pretense-Pakhand to cheat people). They do not Understand their own Mool (Source, Jot Saroop…); that’s why they are fools with animal intelligence ||3|| (sggs 751).
  • ਕਰਤੂਤਿ ਪਸੂ ਕੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਾਤਿ ॥ ਲੋਕ ਪਚਾਰਾ ਕਰੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤਿ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮਲੁ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਛਪਸਿ ਨਾਹਿ ਕਛੁ ਕਰੈ ਛਪਾਇਆ ॥: Although; human in name or creed, but actions are that of animalistic nature. But day and night he exhibits or shows off to people (that he is a human – ਬੰਦਾ)! Outside (on his body) he wears religious dress but in his mind is the filth of Maya. However he cannot conceal the filth of his mind with (outwardly wearing religious robes, cunningness, pleasing people etc.). (sggs 267).

Thus, since the body is an instrument in the hands of the mind, it can not serve its purpose well if it is guided by a vitiated mind — a mind that is weak (or empty), sense-blind, selfish, corrupt, deceptive, unrighteous, untruthful, fear-ridden, Bikaar-ridden, doubt-ridden, ego-ridden, poisoned by ill thoughts-stuff, lacking the Divine understanding etc.

  • ਸਉ ਓਲਾਮ੍ਹ੍ਹੇ ਦਿਨੈ ਕੇ ਰਾਤੀ ਮਿਲਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਸਹੰਸ ॥ ਸਿਫਤਿ ਸਲਾਹਣੁ ਛਡਿ ਕੈ ਕਰੰਗੀ ਲਗਾ ਹੰਸੁ ॥ ਫਿਟੁ ਇਵੇਹਾ ਜੀਵਿਆ ਜਿਤੁ ਖਾਇ ਵਧਾਇਆ ਪੇਟੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚੇ ਨਾਮ ਵਿਣੁ ਸਭੋ ਦੁਸਮਨੁ ਹੇਤੁ ॥੨॥: Day and night, (Jeev: individual being) engrossed in sinful deeds receives hundreds of thousands of complaints or reprimands. (Because Jeev-) Hans has left the divine Life (of Wisdom and Virtues) and is engaged in picking corpses (i.e. Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride etc.). Accursed is the life of a human being who is engrossed only in his own carnal tastes. Like animals, he is limited to eating and filling his belly. O Nanak! Without the practice of True Naam (i.e. Virtues, Wisdom) all tastes become enemy (i.e. cause of suffering). ||2|| (sggs 790).
  • ਫਰੀਦਾ ਚਿੰਤ ਖਟੋਲਾ ਵਾਣੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਬਿਰਹਿ ਵਿਛਾਵਣ ਲੇਫੁ ॥ ਏਹੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ਜੀਵਣਾ ਤੂ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਸਚੇ ਵੇਖੁ ॥੩੫॥: O Fareed! Anxiety is my bed, pain is my mattress, and the pain of separation is my blanket and quilt. O True Rabb! See, this is my lifestyle (resulted from my separation (from Truth or Rabb, Virtues, Wisdom…). ||35|| (sggs 1379).

The Gurbani says that our mind is Jot Saroop. What it means is that it is endowed with the Divine Qualities such as Truth (Sat), fearlessness (Nirbhaou), without enmity (Nirvair), beyond time (Akaal), beyond birth and death (Ajoonee), and so on. We are That, not this fleeting gross body.

However, our doubt-ridden mind has veiled these Divine Qualities. The purpose of human birth is to awaken these Divine Qualities within by removing doubts so that we all may know and understand our True status (Jot Saroop). If we do not strive to reach that Goal of the human birth, than there is no difference between us and animals. This is the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ).

The history reports many people have reached the level marked by the Gurbani. The case in point is the Gurus, Bhagats, and many more. They all added to the glory of the mankind.

The Gurbani urges us to strive to reach the highest level of Spiritual Perfection (Janam Padaarath). Nobody can stop us but ourselves. Any unselfish person is an asset to human society. Call such a person by whatever name you like, he pursues unselfishness and truthfulness without worrying about the consequences.

The Gurbani’s wisdom challenges all mankind to fill the mind with the same stuff that made Baba Naanak, Bhagats etc.

Today the world is full of danger, threat, conflicts and weapons of mass destruction. Because the mind of the world leaders (religious, political and otherwise) are full of selfishness, corruption, frauds, deception, hatred, animosity, greed, anger, fanaticism, etc. Their bellies are full but the minds are empty. If these leaders have the mind filled with Truth, there would be love, generosity, goodwill, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and peace in the world.

  • ਅੰਧਾ ਝਖਿ ਝਖਿ ਪਇਆ ਝੇਰਿ ॥: (Entangled in worldly entanglements, a mentally) blind and bewildered gets involved in turmoil (tumult, strife, row, etc.). (sggs 1287).
  • ਮੈਲੇ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰਡਾਇ ਕੈ ਈਸ ॥: Rulers of the universe are filthy (corrupt…). (sggs 1158).

Science has made tremendous progress to make people’s life comfortable, at least physically or materially. In that regard, the man has come a long way. The bellies are getting filled like never before. But, unfortunately, the mind is getting vacant like never before.

  • ਰਸ ਕਸ ਖਾਏ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਵਧਾਏ ॥ ਭੇਖ ਕਰੈ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਕਮਾਏ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਰੋਗੁ ਮਹਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਭਾਰੀ ਬਿਸਟਾ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਮਾਹਾ ਹੇ ॥੧੦॥: Who fattens up his body eating tasty delicacies, and wears religious robes but does not live to the Gur-Shabad (Naam or Wisdom). Within (him) is the terrible pain of the disease (of Bikaar, Haumai, ignorance…), and always remains permeated in the night-soil (of Bikaar…). ||10|| (sggs 1058).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਵਖਰ ਸੂਨੋ ਘਰੁ ਹਾਟੁ ॥: Without the stock (of the Naam..), the store of the Heart is empty (sggs 153).
  • ਰੈਣਿ ਗਵਾਈ ਸੋਇ ਕੈ ਦਿਵਸੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਹੀਰੇ ਜੈਸਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਹੈ ਕਉਡੀ ਬਦਲੇ ਜਾਇ ॥੧॥: Raini gavaayee soyi kai divas(u) gavaayiyaa khaayi. Heere jaisaa janam(u) hai kayudee badale jaai ||1|| (sggs 156).

The Gurbani urges the entire mankind to fill the mind as well. In nutshell, the filled mind is mindfulness, heightened awareness and wisdom (the Gurmukh Lifestyle), etc. Such full or healthy mind is wise, discerning, thoughtful, purposeful, intuitively balanced, unselfish, unconditioned, focused, far-sighted, connected to its Mool within (Source) etc. Furthermore, such healthy mind is free of narrow-sightedness, fear, Bikaar, doubt, Haumai, hunger for Maya

Such mind filled with the Divine Wisdom can lead to dwell deeply in the eternity of the ‘now’ and brings about a true shift in our awareness from being infatuated by egoistic postures and constant obsession with objects of desire and material pleasures. Also, true and constant mindfulness makes us aware of what is going on within and around us; it makes us see the same Divinity in all beings; it enables us to handle daily unforeseeable or unpredictable eventualities of a conditional and impermanent world; and it develops undivided remembrance of the Universal Truth.

  • ਸੋ ਜੀਵਿਆ ਜਿਸੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਜੀਵੈ ਕੋਇ ॥: (In reality) Only that person is truly alive within whose mind That (i.e. One Hukam: System-Rule-Law of Nature…) abides. O Nanak! No one else (i.e., who denies the Hukam…) is truly alive (sggs 142).
  • ਮਨ ਕੀਆ ਇਛਾ ਪੂਰੀਆ ਸਬਦਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਭਰਪੂਰਿ ॥: Desires of the mind (Spiritual Awakening…) are fulfilled (when it remains) filled to overflowing with the Shabad (Naam: Wisdom…). (sggs 34).

Thus, the purpose of listening or reading the Gurbani is to awaken the Divine Knowledge and Divine Qualities within. If that does not happen, then, the Gurbani thunders forth the following warning in very stern terms:

  • ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕਛੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਪਸੁ ਜਿਉ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਉ ॥: Listening to the Gurmat (Shabad-Giaan, Teaching of the Gurbani, etc.), (if) no Spiritual Wisdom (understanding of the Spiritual Life…) wells up within; (then it would be) like a beast (routinely) filling its belly (sggs 685).
  • ਗੁਣ ਵਿਹੂਣ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਲੁ ਧਾਰੀ ॥: (Those) without Virtues, bear the filth of Maya (in their minds). (sggs 367).
  • ਦੀਨੁ ਬਿਸਾਰਿਓ ਰੇ ਦਿਵਾਨੇ ਦੀਨੁ ਬਿਸਾਰਿਓ ਰੇ ॥ ਪੇਟੁ ਭਰਿਓ ਪਸੂਆ ਜਿਉ ਸੋਇਓ ਮਨੁਖੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਹੈ ਹਾਰਿਓ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਕਬਹੂ ਨਹੀ ਕੀਨੀ ਰਚਿਓ ਧੰਧੈ ਝੂਠ ॥ ਸੁਆਨ ਸੂਕਰ ਬਾਇਸ ਜਿਵੈ ਭਟਕਤੁ ਚਾਲਿਓ ਊਠਿ ॥੧॥: O madman! You have forgotten your Dharma (of Virtues, Sach or Truth, Duty of life-ਫਰਜ…); you have forgotten your Dharma. Like animals, you fill your belly and sleep; you have wasted and lost this human life. ||1||Pause|| Having never done Sangat of the Guru, but having concocted tasks of fakery; one lives one’s life akin to that of a dog, hog and crow. ||1|| (sggs 1105).


  1. Correct! Thank you Bhai Sahib Jio.
    The Gurbani says that Naam is obtained by that person whose mind is filled with the Divine Wisdom / Divine Virtues of the Shabad Guroo.
    • ਨਾਮ ਨਿਧਾਨ ਤਿਸਹਿ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਜਿਸੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਨਿ ਵੂਠਾ ਜੀਉ ॥੨॥ (sggs 101).


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